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updated: 4/8/2013 10:23 AM

Running the Human Race: Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling Service

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Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling Service wants to make sure no one in town -- from the children in its schools to the adults in the community -- lacks for mental health care.

The not-for-profit group, begun in 1979, offers a variety of services aiming to ensure the mental health and well-being of children and families. Services range from help coping with transition or grief to substance abuse, from anger management to adolescent issues.

Key to the organization's mission is its pledge that no one in the village of Glen Ellyn or the school districts serving the community will be turned away for financial reasons. Counseling is offered on a sliding scale, beginning at $5 per session, depending on the family's income; youths are not charged if their family or guardian consents to the counseling but cannot or will not pay. The service receives funding from the village of Glen Ellyn as well as donations from individuals, clubs and service groups.

Today, Robert Dobosz, president of the board of directors for Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling Service, tells us more about the organization and why he'll take part in the Human Race fitness walk to support the cause.

Q. What organization are you supporting through the Human Race? Why?

A. I write in support of the Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling Service.

Q. Who or what inspires you to participate? Did you sign up in memory or in honor of someone?

A. The work of helping professionals like our director, Don Hane, are truly inspirational.

Q. How have you been affected by your organizations cause?

A. We help young people and families who wouldn't have access to counseling services. If it wasn't for the village of Glen Ellyn and our donors, many people would be experiencing serious life crises without help coping.

Q. What has been difficult about the experience? What has been rewarding?

A. Funding for organizations like ours has been very difficult with the distribution changes made by organizations like United Way. Smaller offices have to work hard to continue to offer services. The difficult part is the work necessary to seek resources. The rewarding part is the generosity of people like my classes at Glenbard South and the badminton team, which spearheaded our efforts last year in the Human Race.

Q. What might surprise people about the experience?

A. For a new event it is very popular and incredibly well-run.

Q. What have you learned about yourself because of the experience?

A. I have learned that there are a large number of wonderful caring people in DuPage County.

Q. What support have you received from your organization?

A. Our entire board of directors participates and works toward a successful event.

Q. Have you done the 5K before and, if so, what was the experience like?

A. I'm a walker not a fighter.

Q. What would you tell someone who is interested in participating but might be the slightest bit hesitant?

A. The event is fun and supports a number of awesome causes. Get some friends to do it with you if you would like!

Q. How can readers donate to your fundraising efforts?

A. There are two ways readers can help Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling. One way is to participate in the run/walk by registering for the race online at dupagehumanrace.com. Please remember to designate the Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling Service when registering.

If readers are unable to participate on race/walk day, but are interested in donating, they may do so by going directly to our donation page at active.com/donate/dupagehumanrace2013/GEYFCS2013.

Q. How will the organization use proceeds from the race?

A. Proceeds from the race will be used in support of the Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling mission, which directs that no one is ever denied services based on an inability to pay. More specifically, proceeds help to supplement those reduced fees charged to our counseling program clients, removing financial barriers and enabling access to recommended professional counseling services. For our fiscal year that ended April 30, 82 percent of professional counseling services were delivered to youth, individuals and families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

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